Murmurs of Earth

November 8-December 21, 2018

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 8, 6-8pm

Artist talk: Hayal Pozanti in conversation with Holly Shen: Saturday, November 10 at 3:00pm at 488 Ellis Street

Jessica Silverman Gallery is pleased to present “Murmurs of Earth,” an exhibition of paintings and sculptures by Istanbul-born, LA-based artist Hayal Pozanti.

Pozanti’s new paintings evoke the Rosetta Stone and other ancient tablets that commemorate and communicate the values of a civilization. The totemic works represent a utopian harmony of natural and manmade phenomena through both pictures and poetry, which is inscribed in the artist’s own abstract “Instant Paradise” alphabet, and captured in titles such as A Lifetime of Likes Simulate this Stellar Dynamic and The True Story of the World in Interior Monologue. Like time capsules representing contemporary life in graphic, vividly colored pictograms, these tablets send a message to the future about the endangered beauty of our planet at this time.

Representing nature are many forms of intelligent and seemingly miraculous life – elephants, orcas, coral, sea horses, redwood trees, lilies, mushrooms, and human hands. Standing in for technology are drones, silicon chips, motherboards, USB “gender changers,” artificial hearts, self-driving cars, recreational and prescription drugs, and a “kissinger” device, which allows couples to kiss each other at long distances. The depicted tablets are situated in romantic landscapes with diverse, fragile climates, suggesting ecological science fictions.

Pozanti’s new sculptures are numbers from “Instant Paradise,” rendered in three dimensions in cut and welded sheet steel, galvanized to obtain a bright sheen and reliance for outdoor installation. Formally inspired by Isamu Noguchi’s foldable sculptures, the works also resemble Donald Judds that have exploded out of their box.

Sweat of 23 Hummingbirds, for example, depicts the number 23, leaning like a puzzle piece into a hilly silhouette landscape. An observation about the growing significance of numbers in our culture, the sculpture offers an opportunity to meditate on the mysteries of 23 – a prime that relates to the number of paired chromosomes in the human genome, the distinct orientations of Tetris pieces, the total letters in the Latin alphabet, the position of vanadium (a rare metal used in jet engines to weld titanium to steel) in the periodic table and, among many other things, the number on Michael Jordan’s Jersey when he played for the Chicago Bulls.

The exhibition title, “Murmurs of Earth,” comes from Carl Sagan’s book about the cultural documents sent into space in 1977 on the Voyager space crafts. They included 118 photographs, 90 minutes of music, recordings of the Earth’s soundscape, and greetings in almost sixty languages, including whale sounds. As then President Jimmy Carter said of the curated selection: “This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.”

Hayal Pozanti (b. 1983, Istanbul, Turkey) has a BA from Sabanci University and a MFA from Yale University. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Broad Art Museum in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the San Jose Museum of Art and JP Morgan. Pozanti has enjoyed many solo exhibitions, including one at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut. Her work was been featured in group shows at the Kitchen (New York), MCA Santa Barbara (CA), Cornell Fine Arts Museum (FL), Sabanci Museum (Istanbul) and Prospect 3 for the New Orleans Biennial and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In 2017, she presented a monumental digital video installation, titled “Relentless Tenderness,” at the new World Trade Center for Public Art Fund. Pozanti lives and works in Los Angeles. “Murmurs of Earth” is her third exhibition in San Francisco with Jessica Silverman Gallery.